Let’s face it: The Rangers-Toronto Blue Jays ALDS has been taxing on Rangers fans’ souls, not to mention their eyes and ears.
Now comes Wednesday’s decisive Game 5 with a 3 p.m. start on Fox Sports 1, a network that likely was nothing more than a rumor to most Dallas-Fort Worth viewers until the Rangers postseason.
For Rangers fans, that’s not exactly prime time on prime real estate. It’s not even within shouting distance.
Special thanks to Major League Baseball and Fox Sports 1, who decided the Houston Astros-Kansas City Royals is more worthy of prime time. That series-clinching meeting starts on FS1 at a more respectable 7 p.m.
Why that decision? Well, Houston and Kansas City are two U.S. markets metered for ratings. Toronto might as well be Siberia when it comes to American eyeballs.
What’s a prime-time start worth to Rangers fans? Well, more of them can watch from the comfort of their homes. Consider this: On Sunday, the Rangers-Blue Jays played their only prime-time game of the series. The game scored a 12.2 rating in Dallas-Fort Worth, which translates into about 323,000 homes. The three afternoon starts are averaging about a 6.0 rating, which is about 159,000 homes.
Monday’s Game 4 was supposed to start on FS1 at 3 p.m. But the Astros-Royals ran long, pushing the Rangers-Blue Jays to MLB Network for more than an hour. Why is that a kick in the pants?
Consider this law of diminishing returns: During the regular season the Rangers play on Fox Sports Southwest, which reaches about 2 million of the 2.64 million homes with televisions in Dallas-Fort Worth. Fox Sports 1 hits about 1.8 million. MLB Network reaches about 1.5 million.
That means 300,000 homes had to pick up the game in progress while 40 percent of the entire market was completely shut out. Remember the Cowboys’ playoff games last season? Remember how they were played on over-the-air, Fox-owned KDFW (Channel 4), which reaches 100 percent of homes?
The lowest-rated game of this series? Friday’s Game 2, exclusively on MLB Network, scored a 5.4 in D-FW. That’s lower than some regular-season games.
It’s not rocket science. It’s selling a sport. Baseball loses.
To read more visit the Dallas Morning News where this story was originally published
Greg Olsen To Partner With Kevin Burkhardt For Super Bowl LVII
“Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.”
The deal isn’t done yet, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reports that Greg Olsen is on his way to joining Kevin Burkhardt in the top NFL booth at FOX. Although Tom Brady will take over that role after he retires and leaves the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Olsen will spend at least this season on FOX’s A-Team.
Last season was the first Burkhardt and Olsen worked together. They largely won rave reviews.
Earlier this year, the former Panther told The Mac Attack on WFNZ in Charlotte that he was disappointed he didn’t get to call a postseason game. He will more than make up for that in 2023. As Burkhardt’s partner, Olsen is in line to be the analyst for Super Bowl LVII.
Marchand writes that we could get a taste of what is to come in February. He speculates that if the Buccaneers are not in the Super Bowl, it is possible Tom Brady could make his FOX debut, either in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen or as part of the network’s studio show.
Now, FOX has to make a decision about it’s number 2 NFL booth. According to Marchand, Drew Brees is a candidate to be the analyst. Adam Amin and Joe Davis have emerged as candidates for the play-by-play role.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.